Tag: summer reading programs

Road Work Ahead!

This was a special program that I did during the Summer of 2013 for “Dig Into Reading!” Families with kids ages 3-7 were invited to spend an afternoon celebrating all things construction!

The Plan



Construction Countdown by K.C. Olson
The Construction Crew by Lynn Meltzer
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Red Crane, Red Crane, What Do You See?”

Action Rhyme: “Cranes”
Cranes reach up,
Cranes reach down,
Cranes reach out,
And all around.
Credit: Pre-K Fun

Fingerplay: “Five Little Nails”
Five little nails, standing straight and steady
Here I come with my hammer ready!
Bam, bam, bam! That nail goes down.
Now there’s just four nails to pound.
(count down)
Credit: Mel’s Desk


“Foreman Says”
You really can never go wrong with a special version of Simon Says. I gave the kids construction hats that I bought for the program to wear while we played. I put mine down at one point and wound up sitting on it, smashing it. I’ve never seen preschoolers erupt in such laughter.

“Dump Truck Relay”
The website linked above can give you full instructions, but basically I had two dump truck with packing peanuts that I had painted to look like rocks and two buckets. I divided the kids up into two teams and they raced to get their rocks from the trucks to the buckets. They had great fun with this one, even if I didn’t really “pronounce” a winner.

“Treasure Excavation”
Very simple way to hand out prizes. I had a bin full of shredded paper and let the kids dig using sandbox shovels for their ring pops. I figured that was as close to diamonds as I was gonna be able to afford!



I got this craft from Kids Craft Weekly. I let the kids do their own cutting and I had plenty of parents around to help the youngest ones out. I did keep the hole punchers at a single table with the brads so that teen volunteers could help with the construction aspect.

How It Went

Did I mention the part where I sat on my hat? Basically, not even ring pops could compare with how awesome that moment was! Their favorite book was probably “Tip Tip Dig Dig” and they really liked that I used the same illustrations to make the flannelboard. The craft was definitely doable for the kids, but I had a few that struggled to use the scissors, which makes me all the more determined to give them more opportunities when possible!

Bubble Party

This was an insane program that I did over the summer for 3-year-olds to 7-year-olds. I had twenty-three kids hopping around, and to make matters more complicated — I needed our bigger programming room for space, but also needed our smaller programming room for painting! (I’ll show you how I solved this with ease!)

First off, I read the book “Bubble Trouble” by Margaret Mahy.

This is a pretty long book to read about a baby who accidentally gets trapped in a bubble. And I definitely recommend practicing this one *several* times because there are a lot of tongue-twisty areas. But! The kids loved this story. We had massive amounts of giggling throughout its pages.

A couple of quick songs before launching into the bulk of the program: bubbles!

“My Bubbles” (Tune: “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”)
My bubbles flew over the ocean,
My bubbles flew over the sea,
My bubbles flew over the rainbow,
Oh come back, my bubbles, to me.
Come back, come back, oh come back my bubbles to me!

“Big Bubble” (Tune: “Do You Know the Muffin Man?”)
Can you blow a big bubble?
A big bubble, a big bubble?
Can you blow a big bubble,
With your bubble wand?

Credit for both: Bubble Theme – Step by Step

And then the kids played some quick games:

Bubble Dance – A game where the goal is to simply pop bubbles, not letting the bubbles hit the ground. I played a Dora CD while the children played the game which made it infinitely better. We have a bubble machine, and I literally just let it go, set up on a table. The kids were *thrilled* to be able to pop them to their heart’s content.

Bubble Bounce – A different kind of bubble. You throw balloons into the air and have the children keep the “bubbles” afloat. Super simple, I left the CD playing while we played this one too.

Bubble Race – This game can turn into a disaster very quickly if you let it. We purchased some giant bubble wands and let the kids run with them. Instead of a disaster though, the kids practiced their turn-taking and we made lines. My older kids were great examples for my younger kids and this was actually pretty flawless in terms of execution.

Our transition between spaces was easily solved by grabbing a bubble set and leading the kids through the library on a bubble parade. Simple, and totally effective.

And the whole reason why we needed to move downstairs — our craft was Bubble Art. Add 2 teaspoons of paint to bubble solution. I had the kids blow bubbles onto white construction paper. Make sure to provide lots of different kinds of tools to make bubbles. I had straws, bubbles wands, bubble pipes, etc. set out and every color of the rainbow to use. This went great, and was again, super easy and effective.

This is a program that I would definitely consider doing again — especially because I didn’t take pictures amidst all the chaos!